[Senate Report 106-333]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]



                                                       Calendar No. 667
106th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session                                                     106-333

======================================================================



 
 KENAI MOUNTAINS-TURNAGAIN ARM NATIONAL HERITAGE CORRIDOR AREA ACT OF 
                                  2000

                                _______
                                

                 July 10, 2000.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

  Mr. Murkowski, from the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 2511]

    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, to which was 
referred the bill (S. 2511) to establish the Kenai Mountains-
Turnagain Arm National Heritage Area in the State of Alaska, 
and for other purposes, having considered the same, reports 
favorably thereon with amendments and recommends that the bill, 
as amended, do pass.
    The amendments are as follows:
    1. On page 1, line 5, strike ``Corridor''.
    2. On page 3, line 18, strike ``resolution and letter of 
support have been received from'' and insert ``national 
heritage area designation is supported by''.
    3. On page 5, line 3, strike ``establish'' and insert 
``established''.
    4. On page 5, line 6, strike ``the 11 member Board of 
Directors of the Kenai Mountains-Turnagain Arm National 
Heritage Area Commission,'' and insert ``the management entity 
established by section 5.''.
    5. On page 6, lines 5 and 6, strike ``the Secretary from a 
list of recommendations submitted by''.
    6. On page 7, strike lines 3 through 9 and insert in lieu 
thereof the following:

          ``(b) Representatives of other organizations shall be 
        invited and encouraged to participate with the 
        management entity and in the development and 
        implementation of the management plan, including but 
        not limited to: the State Division of Parks and Outdoor 
        Recreation; the State Division of Mining, Land and 
        Water; the Forest Service; the State Historic 
        Preservation Office; the Kenai Peninsula Borough; the 
        Municipality of Anchorage; the Alaska Railroad; the 
        Alaska Department of Transportation, and the National 
        Park Service.''.

    7. On page 8, line 23, strike ``corridor'' and insert in 
lieu thereof ``area''.
    8. On page 9, line 14 through 20 strike subsection (c) and 
redesignate the following subsections accordingly.
    9. On page 10, line 11, strike ``subject'' and insert ``and 
subject''.
    10. On page 10, line 12, strike ``shall'' and insert 
``may''.
    11. On page 10, line 23, strike ``to'' and insert ``to 
manage or''.

                         purpose of the measure

    The purpose of S. 2511 is to establish the Kenai Mountains-
Turnagain Arm National Heritage Area in the State of Alaska, 
and designate the board of directors of the Kenai Mountains-
Turnagain Arm National Heritage Area Commission as the 
management entity.

                          background and need

    The Kenai Mountains-Turnagain Arm corridor in Alaska 
highlights the experience of the western frontier, and contains 
heritage resources that tell the story of transportation, 
settlement, the gold rush, and resource development in a 
difficult and remote landscape. Small communities, still very 
much as they were in the past, are dwarfed by the sweeping 
landscape. Turnagain Arm, once a critical transportation link, 
has the world's second greatest tidal range, and a traveler 
through the alpine valleys and mountain passes of the area can 
see evidence of retreating glaciers, earthquake subsidence, and 
avalanches. Wildlife is abundant. Through this rugged terrain, 
transportation routes were developed into south central and 
interior Alaska. Alaska natives, Russians, gold rush 
``stampeders'', and others arrived seeking access to the 
resource-rich land. Historic trails and evidence of mining 
history are often embedded and nearly hidden in the landscape. 
The Iditarod Trail to Nome, used to haul mail in and gold out, 
started at Seward. Only in the last half of the 20th Century 
was the highway from Seward to Anchorage opened. Before then, 
the small communities of the corridor were linked to the rest 
of Alaska by wagon trail, rail, and by boat access across 
Turnagain Arm and the Kenai River.
    S. 2511 creates the Kenai Mountains-Turnagain Arm National 
Heritage Area. The designation has the support of statewide 
tourism and historic preservation groups, and the City of 
Seward. Virtually every small community within the corridor has 
passed a resolution or submitted a letter in support of the 
designation. The Board of Directors of the Kenai Mountains-
Turnagain Arm National Heritage Area Commission would serve as 
the management entity, and would be comprised of citizens of 
the local communities and representatives of organizations such 
as Native Associations, the Iditarod Trail Committee, 
historical societies, visitor associations, and private or 
business entities. S. 2511 authorizes the appropriation of $10 
million and Secretary of Interior's assistance for a period of 
15 years.

                          legislative history

    S. 2511 was introduced by Senators Murkowski and Stevens on 
May 4, 2000. Testimony from witnesses on this bill was included 
in the record of the hearing held by the Subcommittee on 
National Parks, Historic Preservation, and Recreation on May 
25, 2000. At its business meeting on June 7, 2000, the 
Committee on Energy and Natural Resources ordered S. 2511, as 
amended, favorably reported.

            committee recommendation and tabulation of votes

    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, in open 
business session on June 7, 2000, by a unanimous vote of a 
quorum present, recommends that the Senate pass S. 2511, if 
amended as described herein.

                          committee amendments

    During the consideration of S. 2511, the Committee adopted 
an amendment to require the management entity for the Heritage 
Area to be appointed by the Governor of the State of Alaska 
rather than the Secretary of the Interior. In addition, the 
Committee adopted several technical and clarifying amendments.

                      section-by-section analysis

    Section 1 designates the bill's short title.
    Section 2(a) contains Congressional findings.
    Subsection (b) describes the purposes of the Act, which are 
to: (1) recognize, preserve, and interpret the historic and 
modern resource development and cultural landscapes of the 
Kenai Mountains-Turnagain Arm historic transportation corridor, 
and to promote and facilitate the public enjoyment of these 
resources; and (2) foster, through financial and technical 
assistance, the development of cooperative planning and 
partnerships among the communities and borough, State, and 
Federal Government entities.
    Section 3 defines the term ``management entity'' as the 
management entity established by section 5, and provides 
definitions for several other key terms used in the Act.
    Section 4 establishes the Kenai Mountains-Turnagain Arm 
National Heritage Area, and provides a map reference that 
depicts its boundaries.
    Section 5 describes the makeup of the management entity, 
establishes the length of terms for its members, and describes 
the procedures for appointing its members and filling vacancies 
on the board. Representative of other organizations, including 
but not limited to those specified, must also be invited and 
encouraged to participate with the management entity in the 
development and implementation of the management plan.
    Section 6(a) requires the management entity to develop a 
management plan for the Heritage Area within 3 years of 
entering into a cooperative agreement with the Secretary of the 
Interior, and prescribes the contents of the plan.
    Subsection (b) establishes activities to which the 
management entity must give priority in assisting communities 
in the region, including: (1) carrying out programs which 
recognize the important resource values in the heritage area; 
(2) encouraging economic viability in the affected communities; 
(3) establishing and maintaining interpretive exhibits; (4) 
improving and interpreting heritage trails; (5) increasing 
public awareness and appreciation of resources within the 
heritage area; (6) restoring historic buildings and structures; 
and (7) ensuring that clear, consistent, and appropriate signs 
identifying public access points and sites of interest are 
placed throughout the heritage area.
    Subsection (c) requires the management entity to conduct at 
least two public meetings each year regarding initiation and 
implementation of the management plan.
    Section 7 authorizes the Secretary, in consultation with 
the Governor of Alaska or his designee, and with public 
participation, to enter into a cooperative agreement with the 
management entity. Pursuant to the cooperative agreement, the 
Secretary may provide administrative, technical, financial, 
design, development, and operations assistance.
    Section 8 clarifies that nothing in this Act grants powers 
of zoning or land use to the management entity, changes the 
authority of any unit of government to manage or regulate land 
use, or limits business activity on private development or 
resource development activities.
    Section 9 prohibits the management entity from acquiring 
real property or any interest in real property.
    Section 10 authorizes the appropriation of $10 million, 
with a limit of $350,000 for the first fiscal year, and $1 
million per fiscal year thereafter, conditioned upon the 
management entity completing a cooperative agreement, and 
subject to at least a 25 percent match of other funds or in-
kind services. The Secretary's authority to provide any 
assistance under this Act terminates 15 years after the date 
that the Secretary and the management entity complete a 
cooperative agreement.

                   cost and budgetary considerations

    The following estimate of costs of this measure has been 
provided by the Congressional Budget Office.

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                     Washington, DC, June 21, 2000.
Hon. Frank H. Murkowski,
Chairman, Committee on Energy and Natural Resources,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for S. 2511, the Kenai 
Mountains-Turnagain Arm National Heritage Area Act of 2000.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contacts are Deborah 
Reis and Ali Aslam (for federal costs), and Susan Sieg Tompkins 
(for the state and local impact).
            Sincerely,
                                           Steven Lieberman
                                    (For Dan L. Crippen, Director).
    Enclosure.

S. 2511--Kenai Mountains-Turnagain Arm National Heritage Area Act of 
        2000

    S. 2511 would establish the Kenai Mountains-Turnagain Arm 
National Heritage Area in Alaska. The heritage area would be 
managed by a nonprofit corporation consisting of seven local 
representatives appointed by the Governor of Alaska. The bill 
would direct the Secretary of the Interior to enter into a 
cooperative agreement with this management entity to provide 
technical and financial assistance. The new corporation would 
develop a management plan for the heritage area designed to 
help local communities establish and maintain interpretive 
exhibits and signs, improve trails, and restore historic 
buildings. For these purposes, the bill would authorize the 
appropriation of $350,000 for the first year after enactment, 
and $1 million annually thereafter, up to a total of $10 
million.
    Assuming appropriation of the authorized amounts, CBO 
estimates that implementing S. 2511 would cost $10 million over 
the next 10 to 15 years. The bill would not affect direct 
spending or receipts; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures would 
not apply.
    S. 2511 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act. The 
state of Alaska and local governments within the state might 
choose to participate in the planning for and management of the 
national heritage area, and would incur some costs as a result. 
Such costs would be voluntary. Participating governments would 
be eligible to receive grants to cover a portion of the costs 
associated with those activities. S. 2511 would impose no costs 
on other state, local, or tribal governments.
    The CBO staff contacts are Deborah Reis and Ali Aslam (for 
federal costs), and Susan Seig Tompkins (for the state and 
local impact). This estimate was approved by Peter H. Fontaine, 
Deputy Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                      regulatory impact evaluation

    In compliance with paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee makes the following 
evaluation of the regulatory impact which would be incurred in 
carrying out S. 2511. The bill is not a regulatory measure in 
the sense of imposing Government-established standards or 
significant economic responsibilities on private individuals 
and businesses.
    No personal information would be collected in administering 
the program. Therefore, there would be no impact on personal 
privacy.
    Little, if any, additional paperwork would result from the 
enactment of S. 2511, as ordered reported.

                        EXECUTIVE COMMUNICATIONS

    On May 23, 2000, the Committee on Energy and Natural 
Resources requested legislative reports from the Department of 
the Interior and the Office of Management and Budget setting 
forth Executive agency recommendations on S. 2511. These 
reports had not been received at the time the report on S. 2511 
was filed. When the reports become available, the Chairman will 
request that they be printed in the Congressional Record for 
the advice of the Senate. The testimony provided by the 
National Park Service and the U.S. Forest Service at the 
Subcommittee hearing follows:

   Statement of Katherine H. Stevenson, Associate Director, Cultural 
    Resources Stewardship and Partnerships, National Park Service, 
                       Department of the Interior

    Thank you for the opportunity to present the position of 
the Department of Interior on S. 2511, a bill to establish the 
Kenai Mountains-Turnagain Arm National Heritage Corridor Area 
in the State of Alaska.
    The Administration believes that the designation of the 
Kenai Mountains-Turnagain Arm area of Alaska as a National 
Heritage Area (NHA) would recognize the nationally distinctive 
history of the region and, therefore, supports the purpose of 
S. 2511. The Administration, however, must oppose S. 2511, as 
currently drafted, but would support the bill if amended to:
     Exclude National Forest lands from the proposed 
National Heritage Area. Typically, National Heritage Areas 
consist of non-federal lands, where federal lands are included 
in NHAs, they do not constitute the overwhelming majority of 
acreage in the NHA. NHAs are intended primarily to help 
communities take the initiative themselves to protect and 
interpret cultural and historic resources on non-federal lands. 
The appropriate vehicle for managing National Forest lands is 
the forest land management plan, which relies on public 
participation and incorporates the interests of the general 
community.
     Vest the responsibility for providing technical 
assistance to the management entity and approval of the 
management plan for the NHA with the Secretary of Agriculture. 
To the extent that the management entity may wish to draw upon 
the expertise of the National Park Service, we recommend that 
the bill be amended to authorize National Park Service, in 
consultation with the Secretary of Agriculture, to provide such 
assistance.
     Provide explicitly that, where the management 
entity's plan conflicts with the management plan for the 
National Forest lands, the latter document controls. To the 
extent that a non-federal management entity wishes to invest in 
projects on federal lands, the conditions for their 
participation should be consistence with the terms and 
conditions set forth in section 323 of the FY 1999 Interior and 
Related Agencies Appropriations Act.
    Consistent with the bottom-up approach common to NHA 
planning, the Administration believes that the affect local 
communities, not the Federal Government, should determine the 
membership of the management entity. Nonetheless, membership 
should reflect all the interests of the community--including 
environmental interests and, specifically, the interests of 
Native Alaskans. The Administration therefore, recommends 
deleting the provision regarding secretarial appointment of 
management entity representatives and replacing it with 
standard language requiring a locally-developed management 
entity to enter into a compact with the Secretary. Management 
entities are supposed to arise from broad-based community 
interest and not be top-down designations. It is expected, 
however, that any management entity would be representative of 
all local groups, including Native Alaskans.
    In addition, we recommend that section 7(b) be revised to 
make the provision of assistance discretionary, rather than 
mandatory, and to exclude assistance for administrative, 
financial, or operations. Although we recognize the need to 
provide assistance, and intend to do so to the extent possible, 
there are certain functions that should remain the 
responsibility of the management entity. Grants funds, rather 
than agency appropriations, should be available to address 
basic operational responsibilities.
    Finally, we recommend maintaining the 50 percent matching 
requirement, which is a common requirement in all other 
Heritage Areas. Keeping Heritage Areas as locally driven 
entities is a fundamental principle, but that would be 
difficult to maintain if the Federal Government provided a 
majority of funding.
    Congress has already acknowledged the significance of parts 
of this region by establishing the Iditarod National Historic 
Trail and the Seward Highway National Scenic Byway. The 
heritage area designation wraps these routes into the whole 
picture of human history in the wider transportation corridor. 
This heritage area features mountain passes leading into south 
central and interior Alaska, including early native trade 
routes, waterway connections across the treacherous Turnagain 
Arm, the Alaska Railroad and numerous mining trails. Heritage 
area designation under this bill will greatly enhance our 
understanding of travel and resource development in the last 
frontier.
    A National Heritage Area is defined as a place where 
natural, cultural, historic and recreational resources combine 
to form a nationally distinctive landscape arising from 
patterns of human activity. Heritage conservation efforts are 
grounded in a community's pride in its history and traditions, 
and its interest in seeing them retained. Preserving the 
integrity of the cultural landscape and local stories means 
that future generations in communities will be able to 
understand and define who they are, where they come from, and 
what ties them to their home. Heritage areas do not require 
federal ownership of property, but do rely on cooperation and 
technical assistance from the federal government.
    As we have testified before to Congress, there are several 
steps that should be completed prior to the designation of a 
heritage area. The four main steps are that the proposal should 
have a completed suitability/feasibility study; early and 
frequent public involvement; a demonstration of wide public 
support and feasibility to implement the project in 
communities; and commitments from potential partners to support 
the project.
    We believe S. 2511, if amended as the administration 
proposes, can meet a large portion of the intent and spirit of 
these steps.
    Although a technical suitability/feasibility study has not 
been done of this area, many of the themes and the areas within 
this corridor have been extensively studied. The Iditarod 
National Historic Trail and the Seward Highway National Scenic 
Byway are important parts of this Corridor, and both were the 
subject of recent studies that found that the Iditarod Trail 
and the Seward Highway were nationally significant. To satisfy 
the technical requirement of a study in this case, we suggest 
language be added to the bill that would require a suitability 
and feasibility analysis to take place in the planning process 
for this area.
    In Alaska, the energy and support this proposal has 
engendered bear witness to not only the fulfillment of the 
steps outlined above, but to the inspirational quality of the 
land and its history. More than 24 local and statewide 
organizations have written to express their support. The small 
communities within the proposed heritage area support the 
proposal. Local governments--including the Kenai Peninsula 
Borough and the Seward City Council--have supported the plan. 
Statewide visitor organizations, such as the Alaska Visitors 
Association and the Alaska Wilderness Recreation and Tourism 
Association have supported the heritage area proposal, as have 
the Kenai Peninsula Historical Association and the State 
Historical Commission.
    By passage of this bill, Congress will respond to this 
grassroots support and will give the small communities on the 
Kenai Peninsula within the heritage area new motivation and 
means to work together to present the story of their historic 
region and to interpret and share this part of America's 
heritage. The heritage area model is working well in many areas 
in the East--in the Rivers of Steel Heritage Area in 
Pittsburgh, in the Black Stone River Valley, and in the Hudson 
Valley. The Kenai Mountains-Turnagain Arm National Heritage 
Area will be the first in this area, but will follow the model 
of success seen in other areas.
    In summary, the goals of this bill are compatible with the 
mission of National Heritage Areas elsewhere, there is the 
requisite local support and commitment of success, and the 
historic, cultural and natural resources of the area are of 
national significance. We urge the Committee to adopt the 
amendments proposed by the Administration and pass the bill at 
the earliest opportunity.
    This concludes my testimony. I would be happy to answer any 
of your questions.
                                ------                                


     Statement of Sandra Key, Associate Deputy Chief, Programs and 
                  Legislation, U.S.D.A. Forest Service

    Chairman Thomas and members of the subcommittee: Thank you 
for the opportunity to testify here today on S. 2511 which 
would establish the Kenai Mountains-Turnagain Arm National 
Heritage Area in the State of Alaska. The Administration 
believes that the designation of the Kenai Mountains-Turnagain 
Arm area of Alaska as a National Heritage Area (NHA) would 
recognize the nationally distinctive history of the region and, 
therefore, supports the purpose of S. 2511. The Administration, 
however, must oppose S. 2511, as currently drafted, but would 
support the bill if amended to:
     Exclude National Forest lands from the proposed 
NHA. Typically, NHAs consist of non-federal lands; where 
federal lands are included in an NHA, they do not constitute 
the overwhelming majority of acreage in the NHA. NHAs are 
intended primarily to help communities take the initiative 
themselves to protect and interpret cultural and historic 
resources on non-federal lands. The appropriate vehicle for 
managing National Forest lands is the forest land management 
plan, which relies on public participation and incorporates the 
interests of the general community.
     Vest the responsibility for providing technical 
assistance to the management entity and approval of the 
management plan for the NHA with the Secretary of Agriculture. 
To the extent that the management entity may wish to draw upon 
the expertise of the National Park Service, we recommend that 
the bill be amended to authorize National Park Service, in 
consultation with the Secretary of Agriculture, to provide such 
assistance.
     Provide explicitly that, where the management 
entity's plan conflicts with the management plan for the 
National Forest lands, the latter document controls. To the 
extent that a non-federal management entity wishes to invest in 
projects on federal lands, the conditions for their 
participation should be consistent with the terms and 
conditions set forth in section 323 of the FY 1999 Interior and 
Related Agencies Appropriations Act.
    Consistent with the bottom-up approach common to NHA 
planning, the Administration believes that the affected local 
communities, not the Federal Government, should determine the 
membership of the management entity. Nonetheless, membership 
should reflect all the interests of the community--including 
environmental interests and, specifically, the interests of 
Native Alaskans. The Administration, therefore, recommends 
deleting the provisions regarding secretarial appointment of 
management entity representatives and replacing it with 
standard language requiring a locally-developed management 
entity to enter into a compact with the Secretary. Management 
entities are supposed to arise from broad-based community 
interest and not be top-down designations. It is expected, 
however, that any management entity would be representative of 
all local groups, including Native Alaskans.
    In addition, we recommend that section 7(b) be revised to 
make the provision of assistance discretionary, rather than 
mandatory, and to exclude assistance for administrative, 
financial, or operations. Although we recognize the need to 
provide assistance, and intend to do so to the extent possible, 
there are certain functions that should remain the 
responsibility of the management entity. Grants funds, rather 
than agency appropriations, should be available to address 
basic operational responsibilities.
    Finally, we recommend maintaining the 50 percent matching 
requirement, which is a common requirement in all other 
Heritage Areas. Keeping Heritage Areas as locally driven 
entities is a fundamental principle, but that would be 
difficult to maintain if the Federal Government provided a 
majority of funding.
    The Administration enthusiastically supports the concepts 
and goals of this bill:
           to interpret history and culture of the 
        corridor,
           to facilitate public enjoyment of these 
        resources,
           to foster cooperative planning and 
        partnerships among communities, state and federal 
        governments.
    We embrace the idea of a heritage area and believe that the 
rich history, spectacular natural resource values and community 
support merit recognition in a designation of a heritage area.
    The bill, as written, could be interpreted as putting 
federal land management decisions in the hands of a nonfederal 
board of directors, a board that does not represent the full 
spectrum of viewpoints on resource management.
    S. 2511 also brings into question the legal status of the 
lands involved in the Heritage Area. Under the bill, as 
written, it is unclear whether this land continues to be 
subject to the laws and regulations pertaining to the national 
forests. If this substantial area is effectively removed from 
the National Forest System, then rights established under a 
number of laws, including the National Forest Organic Act, the 
Alaska Statehood Act, ANCSA and ANILCA could be affected. If 
there is a change in national forest status, then payments to 
the State of Alaska and local government entities could also be 
affected. If the bill results in a change in national forest 
status, then multiple use management and planning under the 
National Forest Management Act (NFMA) may no longer apply. 
Likewise, the public's use of the Chugach National Forest, 
under existing laws could be questioned.
    We concur with the eloquent description of the Kenai 
Mountains-Turnagain Arm area's history, heritage and natural 
resources in the testimony of the Department of the Interior.
Grassroots efforts
    The Kenai Peninsula Historical Society has worked 
tirelessly to bring the concept of a heritage corridor for this 
area into reality. When the staff of the Chugach National 
Forest became aware of the Kenai Peninsula Historical Society's 
efforts to designate the western third of the National Forest 
as a National Heritage Corridor, we began to work with the 
group to incorporate their goals into our forest plan revision. 
Approximately 80% of the land within the proposed Corridor is 
Chugach National Forest. The Administration supports the Kenai 
Peninsula Historical Society's energy and enthusiasm as it 
dovetails with Forest Service emphasis to support and assist 
local communities on the Kenai. The Chugach National Forest 
planning team is strongly considering incorporating a goal and 
several objectives in the proposed plan that directly address 
the Kenai Peninsula Historical Society's interests. We 
encourage proponents to continue working with the planning 
team.
Predominant land management/local community commitment
    For a Heritage Area designation in the vicinity of the 
Chugach National Forest, we believe that the Secretary 
Agriculture, would be the most effective and appropriate 
Secretary to be vested with responsibility for providing 
technical assistance to the management entity and approval of 
the management plan. The proposed Heritage Corridor of about 
1.3 million acres encompasses about 1 million acres of the 
Chugach National Forest. The Heritage Corridor is surrounded by 
the remainder of the Chugach's over 5.3 million acres. The 
Forest Service, as the predominant local land manager, has well 
established community ties.
    The Forest Service shares many of the goals and objectives 
expressed by the proponents for the Heritage Corridor 
designation. We often work in partnership with a variety of 
organizations, such as our interpretative partnership with the 
Kenaitze Indian Tribe at Footprints, and our collaboration with 
the Alaska Department of Transportation and the Hope-Sunrise 
Historical Society to relocate mining cabins and a Forest 
Service guard station, during reconstruction of the Seward 
Highway.
    Like the Park Service, the Forest Service has employees 
with the skills and experience needed to support and guide a 
Heritage Corridor effort. We also value heritage resources and 
consider it part of our mission to preserve them and interpret 
them to the public. Our Chugach Design Center is renowned for 
its design work on interpretive displays, maps and 
publications. Chugach National Forest employees at the ranger 
districts in Seward and Girdwood and Supervisor's Office 
employees in Anchorage work daily with local community groups 
in project and forest planning efforts. They support those 
communities's efforts with grants through the state and private 
forestry programs for economic development. The Chugach 
National Forest's commitment already exists.
In conclusion
    The Department of Agriculture opposes S. 2511 as it is 
written but would support the bill if amended to:
           exclude National Forest lands from the 
        Heritage Area,
           vest responsibility for providing technical 
        assistance and management plan approval with the 
        Secretary of Agriculture and allow the Park Service, in 
        consultation with the Secretary of Agriculture, to 
        provide technical assistance, and
           explicitly provide that if the management 
        entity's plan conflicts with the Chugach National 
        Forest Plan, the Forest Plan controls.
    I would be happy to answer any questions you may have.

                        changes in existing law

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee notes that no 
changes in existing law are made by the bill S. 2511, as 
ordered reported.